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Bears Even Up at 1-1: Rapid Fire Recap

| September 16th, 2019


One of the most bizarre and emotionally confusing finishes to a football game in recent memory. The defense was gassed. The offense was useless. Yet here the Chicago Bears stand, 1-1, with their season right in front of them. Rapid fire…

  • Rookie referee Adrian Hill needs to be flown to New York City today. He needs a car waiting for him at LaGuardia. He needs to be driven to Park Avenue. And then Alberto Riveron – the head of NFL officiating – needs to explain to him that hitting the quarterback is not illegal. He needs to also explain that nobody watches a football game to see the referee. Every single potential holding penalty does not warrant the throwing of a flag. Hill and his crew had far too much influence on the outcome of Sunday’s game. That can’t happen.
  • Nobody was more critical of the kicking situation than myself so I’ll gladly offer the mea culpa. Eddy Pineiro had a brilliant day and for now the Bears have a reliable kicker.
  • Mitch Trubisky has a lot of flaws and they’ll be regurgitated endlessly over the next week. But something happens to this kid when the game is on the line. He lights up. He’s at his best. Matt Nagy has to learn to let this kid close things out with a lead.
  • Don’t underestimate this victory. It is the first time Denver has lost their home opener in 8 years. It is very tough to win there early in the season.

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Bears at Broncos Game Preview Volume II: The Football Stuff

| September 13th, 2019

One of the best dogs in the country. Biker Jim’s. Denver.


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

And I have never had this strong a belief in the Chicago Bears defense.


Trite, Boring Thoughts on the Broncos

  • Attacking the Broncos defense is ALL about neutralizing their edge rushers – Von Miller and Bradley Chubb – because the rest of Vic Fangio’s group is mediocre. How did the Raiders do this? First, they gave Derek Carr a ton of quick, easy throws. (Commentator Steve Levy even compared Carr’s MNF performance to Phil Simms’ historic Super Bowl in terms of completion percentage.) Second, they committed to the run game even though it wasn’t particularly successful. This kept play-action believable and kept Miller and Chubb a half-step slower.
  • Joe Flacco didn’t play poorly in the opener but he’s in this tiny collection of aging, modern quarterbacks who need everything working around them to be successful. Players like he and Eli Manning don’t have the legs to extend plays so they need a rush game and they need brilliant protection. If Bears keep Freeman and Lindsay quiet in the run game, it’s hard to see the pass rush not harassing Flacco endlessly. If that happens, the mistakes will flow.
  • Courtland Sutton is going to be a star in this league and the Bears better be aware of his location at all times Sunday. He bought a timeshare in the middle of the field against the Raiders. It’ll be interesting to see if he plays with that level of boldness against a far more intimidating, physical defense.

Tweet of the Week


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Bears at Broncos Preview Volume I: A Call to Arms

| September 12th, 2019

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.”
                            -Shakespeare, Henry V

The moment is here for Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky.

This week.

Sunday.

In Denver.

1-1.

Don’t fuck around. Win.

Opening night was an offensive debacle. The coach was overwhelmed. The quarterback was over-matched. They were not ready to call or perform in a football game, respectively, period.

But this ain’t the 3 AM show in the lounge. This is ain’t the place to work on your material. This is the showroom and the gents are in top hats and tails. The Bears don’t have the luxury of time to figure things out.

They are in one of the best divisions in football.

They have the best defense in the league.

The moment is here.

Sunday.

In Denver.

This offense doesn’t have to be great to keep the 2019 vintage of the Chicago Bears on the league’s top shelf. It has to be serviceable, at least for now. It has to help this team stack wins until the season gets serious in November.

And doing that falls onto the shoulders of two men. Nagy. Trubisky.

Hey Matt, wake up. David Montgomery is a horse. Ride him. The quarterback is still inexperienced. Get him some quick, easy throws. You don’t get credit for the other side of the ball because it wasn’t built by you and it isn’t coached by you. Yours is the offense. Lead them.

Hey Mitch, enough. Enough with the silly throws into holiday weekend traffic. Enough with not calling your own number and getting easy first downs with your legs. Enough with making rookie mistakes because this is your third year in the league, second year in the system, and a few more rookie mistakes are going to lead to your rookie contract being your last contract in the league.

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A Look at the QB Situations of the Potentially-Available Head Coaching Gigs

| December 22nd, 2017

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images (Edited)

The question I’ve been asked most since getting to Chicago: “Do you think Trubisky will be a positive when looking for a new coach?” My answer each time has been a definitive yes because I truly believe it will.

But I decided that, instead of leaning on my gut, to poll my two pals in the league on the question, factoring in all of the potentially-available gigs and their quarterback situation. I’ve grouped the teams into categories.

(I’ll be referring to my friends as AFC GUY & NFC GUY.)


Colts

They get their own category because think of the waters GM Chris Ballard has to navigate. When he’s looking to hire a coach in January he may not be able to tell the candidates whether Andrew Luck, their franchise quarterback, will require an additional surgery sidelining him six months or more. He won’t be able to tell the candidates if they have a franchise quarterback in 2018 or not.

NFC GUY: “Chris is going to have to sell that job. And every potential coach will want to know if they’re considering drafting a quarterback early.”


Bucs / Titans

These are two jobs that, should they come open, will come open with a quarterback in-place. But…do you want them?

  • Marcus Mariota has questions to answer regarding his play in 2017. Because he’s been awful. Said AFC GUY: “If he’s not hurt, he’s a problem.”

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Meaningless Thoughts on a Meaningless Game One

| August 12th, 2016

In no particular order…

  • Amazing how noticeable Trevathan and Freeman were even in this context. Runs were going no further than 3-4 yards. Freeman was running sideline-to-sideline. Can’t wait to see these two in September.
  • Willie Young looks ready for the season to start.
  • With their improved run defense the Bears third down efficiency on that side will determine their season.
  • First pass to Langford? Bobbled. No alarms…yet.
  • I get the sense Cutler likes Mariani. He certainly trusts him on third down.
  • Trevor Siemian throws a nice football.
  • Deiondre’ Hall had to turn Ed Donatell’s head. Kid knows where the football is at all times.
  • Cody Whitehair getting looks at center was interesting. Bears shouldn’t waste time with this decision. (He didn’t look all that comfortable there.)
  • Why would anyone go to this game?

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Five Thoughts on Super Bowl 50

| February 8th, 2016

The game will be dissected all across the board for weeks. Here are just a few quick thoughts.

  • I don’t think I’ll ever forget the image of Cam Newton refusing to go all-in to recover his own fumble. The biggest and strongest quarterback in the league came up small in a massive moment.
  • Has any defensive player ever finished a season better than Von Miller? His AFC title game and Super Bowl were historic.
  • The Gary Kubiak / John Fox debate that jumped on the internet last night makes no sense. The debate people should be having is Wade Phillips / John Fox. I can end that debate now. Wade is one of the greatest defensive coaches in league history. Fox builds great defenses.
  • I don’t want to see Peyton Manning play football anymore. When Denver ran the ball on that late third down I just felt bad. Primarily because it was the smart call.
  • Usually you can’t label a team’s loss this simply but I will make an exception for Carolina. The moment got to them. They seemed to make every mistake. They’re young enough to rebound and get back there but they should show up with real offensive tackles next time.

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